Armored Warriors, known as Powered Gear - Strategic Variant Armor Equipment (パワードギア) in Japan, is an arcade beat 'em up game released in 1994. It used the CPS-2 arcade system, and featured a free-form fighting system that incorporated up to three players at once.
It had low distribution in Japan and North America, but it spawned a more popular spin-off fighting game, Cyberbots: Fullmetal Madness which used the "Variant Armors" mecha gameplay feature, and a spiritual successor Tech Romancer, also a fighting game. After making its home console debut with the Retro-Bit Super Retro-Cade dedicated console, the game would later be released digitally as part of the Capcom Beat ’Em Up Bundle on September 2018 for the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows.
The most prominent feature in Armored Warriors is its multi-player option, and the ability to augment the players' mechs with a large array of different parts for varied attacks. Multiple regions of the mech can be switched, including the arms, legs and handheld weaponry. Such parts are gained (or lost) by inflicting damage upon enemies, causing various parts to come off and be wielded by the player. Additionally, by using commands, the players can use an option called a "Team-up Change" which initiates a powerful attack used in tandem, and can also further customization of weapons by using a main and sub-weapon.
Gameplay follows a mission-like structure, with seven in total. Each stage consists of the game giving the player prerequisites such as a time-limit to eliminate enemies, a set amount of ammo for weapons, and destroying a varying amount of enemies. Each level ends with a boss character, and the game provides competent replay value with the customization options.
Variant Armors are based on powered exoskeletons, creating a powerful "MSW" (Man Silhouette Weapon) with high destructive power for occupation and control, making anyone using a V.A. an one man army by dramatically increasing the soldier's individual ability. The walking AEX (Armored Executioner) is a mainstream model, while V-AEX (Variant Armored Executioner) is a state of the art model abbreviated as VA (Variant Armor) due to its variable form, being able of expanding the range of its operations by incorporating different parts.
- AEX-10M BLODIA - Middle class type V.A. that is equally matched in all areas of combat. Piloted by Rash.
- Height: 15.33ft. (4675mm)
- Weight: 18218lb. (8264kg)
- Armor: 0.98in. (20-25 mm)
- Max Speed: 60.89mph (54-98 km/h)
- Max Power: 2160hp
- SVA-6L REPTOS - Light class type V.A. with high speed and range, but low attack power. Piloted by Justice. SVA stands for Strategic Variant Armor.
- Height: 16.73ft. (5100mm)
- Weight: 13838lb. (6277kg)
- Armor: 0.79in. (14-20 mm)
- Max Speed: 69.59mph (60-112 km/h)
- Max Power: 1590hp
- AEX-10H GULDIN - Heavy class type V.A. with high attack power and ammo but low speed and range. Piloted by Gray.
- Height: 4250mm
- Weight: 9754kg
- Armor: 25-35 mm
- Max Speed: 45-76 km/h
- Max Power: 3504hp
- AEX-12J FORDY - Junior class type V.A. that has high mobility and average attack, range, and ammo. Lacks in defense, depending on its agility to avoid damage. Piloted by Siren.
- Height: 3825mm
- Weight: 6780kg
- Armor: 18-22 mm
- Max Speed: 60-106 km/h
- Max Power: 1798hp
The ammo from Sub Weapons depends of the player's V.A., FORDY and REPTOS having the lowest and GULDIN the highest.
|Starting arm, dropped by the player when other arm is taken. Other players can take these if they want to switch back to the default arm. Can punch and grab enemies.||BLODIA|
|A drill with high range and power, but low speed. Can be used while dashing. The drill can also open to fire a missile.||GAITS.D|
|Laser Blade||A powerful energy blade that cuts enemies at a high speed, but has a short range.||GAITS.LB|
|An extendable claw that can grab a target to shake and slam it multiple times, also hitting nearby enemies. The player can do it until the enemy is destroyed or throw it at other enemies. Can also be used to take away the arms from enemies. Doesn't work against the final boss.||TOATUS.C|
|A claw that releases electricity and can grab enemies.||GAITS.SP|
|A small missile launcher with a shield. Useful for defense, except against area attacks like Bombs.||BLUE WORKER|
|Command Walker*||The default legs. Performance depends of the player's V.A.. Isn't dropped when other legs are taken, and a V.A. with different legs returns to its default legs if it takes too much damage.
*Unnamed in Armored Warriors, the name being from Cyberbots: Fullmetal Madness. However, it should be noted that the Power Bug legs were renamed as Insectroid in Cyberbots.
|Treads||Caterpillar treads that can change to attack with spikes or a drill.||VALIMES|
|Turbo Jet||Jets that allows the V.A. to move faster and glide.||JAGE|
|Power Bug||Four insect-like legs that can do high jumps.||INSECT|
|Vulcan||A machine gun. Has low attack power, but has large ammo and fire rate.||GAITS.E|
|Missile||Fires a powerful missile. Has a low fire rate.|
|Fires two missile that follows enemies. Attack power is low, but always hits a target.||GAITS.E|
|Laser||A powerful and fast laser cannon that can pass by enemies, hitting multiple targets continuously. Specially useful if the player moves up and down to hit more enemies. The only downside is that it has the lowest ammo.||GAITS.E|
|A flamethrower. Attack power is low, but causes continuous damage and can hit multiple targets.||GAITS.E|
|Bomb||A powerful bomb that temporarily creates a pillar of fire.|
|Napalm||A wide range incendiary projectile that causes heavy damage.|
In the year 2281, the war spanning half a century over territory between the United Earth Government and the Raian Principality had at last come to an end with a cease fire agreement.
But, this peace was not to last. A year after a truce agreement between the two planets, a scouting party reported that the Raian capital of Melkide was captured by an army of unknown origin. The former Raian army captain Azrael, who has converted himself into a cyborg in an attempt to become "the perfect warrior", had marshalled several thousand other cyborgs and declared war against the Raian Principality. Robbing mobile weapons from the army, this group of rogues has invaded the Raian capital of Melkide and has begun to abduct the civilians to convert them into cyborg soldiers.
The United Earth Government, receiving an emergency message from Raia, decided to dispatch an advanced army to Raia to retake the capital and rescue the citizens. However, unknown to the public, the true purpose of this operation was to bring Raia under Earth's control once the mysterious army was eliminated. Among the army is the Red Shield Unit (ブラッディーアーマー, Bloody Armor in Japan), an elite squadron containing four Variable Armor pilots.
And so, in October 2282, the United World Forces begin to launch its attack upon the planet Raia, starting the most intense battle in human history.
On July 25, 2283, the war on Raia ended with the total victory of the United Earth forces. All hostages taken by the enemy were rescued and peace was restored to Raia. But the war had taken its toll, Raia's cities were in ruins, her resources were exhausted. Because of their weakened condition, Raia allowed the United Earth Force to establish a permanent station on the planet. But the military balance between the two nations was lost, and soon the United Earth Force became the real power on Raia. Eventually the Principality of Raia virtually disappeared.
- Jeff Perkins aka Rash - Belonged to the 32nd ground squadron stationed at Campella Base in the southern hemisphere as part of the Unified Solar System Space Force. The perfect example of a reckless warrior, he is hot-headed and eager for action, always taking front position during raids on enemy strongholds. He is a gifted pilot, but lacks in actual battle experience. Three days after the conclusion of the war, he was told the true purpose of the mission from his unit leader. Feeling great anger and resentment at the forcible invasion of Raia, he made a sortie on July 30, 2283 and never returned. He now races stock cars in Los Angeles.
- Machine: AEX-10M BLODIA
- Height: 6.05ft. (184.5cm)
- Weight: 172.8lb. (78.4kg)
- Birthday: 2260/8/15
- Age: 22
- Blood Type: B
- Nationality: America
- Rank: First Lieutenant
- Ray Turner aka Justice - A Raian military bureaucrat dispatched to Earth upon the conclusion of the peace treaty with the Raian Principality in 2281, as an "Ambassador of Eternal Peace". On October 25, he was discharged from the army. Afterwards he moved with his family to the Raian city Coorl, where he is writing a story based on the Raian mission of the United Earth Forces.
- Machine: SVA-6L REPTOS
- Height: 6.32ft. (192.7cm)
- Weight: 160.3lb. (72.7kg)
- Birthday: 2254/1/31
- Age: 28
- Blood Type: AR
- Nationality: Planet Raia
- Rank: Captain
- Glenn Reed aka Gray - Surviving member of the 13th Special Squadron (a.k.a. Gods of Death), the most feared by friendly and enemy forces. Bitter over the loss of most of his subordinates and colleagues during that time, the veteran pilot is known to take an excessively strict attitude towards his own men. After learning that the true purpose of his mission was for the government to invade Raia, he felt guilt and retired from the United Earth Force. He returned to Earth and became absorbed with gambling, becoming rich and popular in Las Vegas.
- Machine: AEX-10H GULDIN
- Height: 216.4cm
- Weight: 137.2kg
- Birthday: 2247/2/12
- Age: 35
- Blood Type: O
- Nationality: Canada
- Sarah White aka Siren - The child of a human mother and a Raian father, she grew up in a slum camp. Though spirited and spunky, she occasionally shows tenderness to others. After she discovered the true purpose of the mission, she refused to participate in any further missions. On August 18, she was discharged from the United Earth Force and reutrned to Raia, where she spends most of her time as a volunteer. In her spare hours, she enjoys sky diving.
- Machine: AEX-12J FORDY
- Height: 156.1cm
- Weight: 40.3kg
- Birthday: 2262/12/3
- Age: 20
- Blood Type: A
- Nationality: France
- Commander Galager - the player receives his/her objectives from him.
- Operator - An unnamed girl who briefs the Red Shield Unit on the stages.
- Burns (バーンズ) - The Red Shield Unit mechanic.
- Azrael (アズラエル) - A dictator-like cyborg commander and the main villain of the game who is encountered three separate times in battle. Pilots the WARLOCK.
- Mother Brain - The leader of the enemy forces and the game's final boss. It has two arms that spit out fireballs which cause walls of flame to shoot up when they hit the ground.
- Soldier - The weakest enemy, easily defeated when fighting without a V.A.. They were Raian civilians transformed into loyal cyborgs.
- Powered Suit (POW SUIT) - A muscle-strengthening exoskeleton with a shoulder cannon and jets.
- S.BALL - A round machine with legs and propellers.
- GAITS - Common V.A. piloted by enemy soldiers. Is slow and weak.
- GAITS.A - GAITS holding a weapon.
- GAITS.E - GAITS with improved speed. Usually appears equipped with a Sub Weapon.
- GAITS.D - GAITS equipped with a powerful Death Drill.
- GAITS.SP - GAITS equipped with a Chain Spark.
- GAITS.LB - GAITS equipped with a Laser Blade. Is weaker than the D and SP variants, but is the fastest version.
- TOATUS - AEX type V.A. with protruding blades.
- TOATUS.C - TORTUS equipped with a Force Claw.
- TOATUS.D - TORTUS equipped with a Death Drill.
- TOATUS.S - TORTUS equipped with a Chain Spark.
- VALIMES - V.A. with tank treads that holds weapons like axes and maces.
- R GORI - V.A. with roller arms. Is piloted by two enemy soldiers.
- JAGE - V.A. that floats.
- INSECT - AEX type V.A. with four legs and a laser. Its movements are fast and unpredictable.
- NEAM - Insect-like V.A. that attacks by rolling.
- BLUE WORKER (B WORKER) - AEX type V.A with high mobility.
- WARLOCK - A black V.A. piloted by Azrael that is equipped with jets, giving it high mobility and the ability to fly. Attacks with machine guns. Is the boss from the first stage.
- WARLOCK2 - Improved WARLOCK equipped with a large claw that can discharge electricity. Is the first boss from the fifth stage.
- WARLOCK3 - The last battle against WARLOCK in the sixth stage.
- AGMISS - The second boss, a V.A. designed for underwater use that resembles an octopus. The S-008 SUPER-8 from Cyberbots is based on this mech.
- RAD - The third boss, a large V.A. resembling a blue tank.
- SCULD - The fourth boss, a scorpion-like V.A. with high mobility that attacks with fast, piercing strikes. Can also discharge electricity and fire a laser from its tail.
- HELION - The second boss from the fifth stage, a fast V.A. that can transform into a helicopter. Attacks with two types of lasers and with chops. When transformed in a helicopter, attacks by dropping bombs and diving while spinning its arms.
Planner: Kiyo, T.H.T.Fuji, Tuchihashi Bakabon
Programmer: Y.Tunazaki Forever, Hero Hero, H.HASssssY, Hamachan, Dress
Mechanical Design and Object: Yochabare, E.Kuratani, H.Umemura, N.Fujisawa, Y.Maruno, H.Yoshino, You.Ten Kozow, Igami, Nekokan, U.F.O, N.Fukuda, Bakky
Art Design: Matsumoto, Y.Maruyama, M.Ohshino, T.Mishima, Saru, Akiyama
Sound Compose: Anachey Takapon
Sound Design: T.K,NY
Special Adviser: Poo, Shochan, Kenkun, Meshi, Furoboh
Character Design: T.O.M
Ad Design: Sensei, Sakomizu
Special Thanks: Y.Mikami, Shin, and Capcom All Staff
Additionally, this game credits its staff in its default Score Ranking Table, which is as follows:
- 1st 100000 Kiyo
- 2nd 90000 Fuji
- 3rd 80000 Junsu
- 4th 70000 Tuna
- 5th 60000 Hero
- 6th 50000 Hassy
- 7th 49000 Hama
- 8th 48000 Bour
- 9th 47000 Yocha
- 10th 46000 Kura
- 11th 450000 Sawa
- 12th 44000 Maru
- 13th 43000 Ume
- 14th 42000 Yoshi
- 15th 41000 Youte
- 16th 40000 UFO
- 17th 39000 Igami
- 18th 38000 Neko
- 19th 37000 Fuku
- 20th 36000 Bakky
- 21st 350000 Matu
- 22nd 34000 Maruy
- 23rd 33000 Osino
- 24th 32000 Misi
- 25th 31000 Saru
- 26th 30000 Akiya
- 27th 29000 Nisi
- 28th 28000 Saka
- 29th 27000 Inoue
- 30th 26000 Miura
- 31st 250000 Poo
- 32nd 24000 Syo
- 33rd 23000 Meshi
- 34th 22000 Saknz
- 35th 21000 Furo
- 36th 20000 Mika
- 37th 19000 Shin
- 38th 18000 Ono
- 39th 17000 Tom
- 40th 16000 Sense
- 41st 150000 Sakom
- 42nd 14000 Takap
- 43rd 13000 TK NY
- 44th 12000 Kihaji
- 45th 11000 Ken
- 46th 10000 Monki
- 47th 9000 Tora
- 48th 8000 Bass
- 49th 7000 Pacho
- 50th 6000 Ceres